24 Feb 2017
One thing you used to be able to count on at any motor racing meeting was unhealthy food. Le Mans was bad but so were Australian circuits. Ghastly food was a given. At Le Mans there used to be big tented restaurants where food was served to hundreds sitting at trestle tables. The food was steak with the consistency of racing tyres or pork swimming in fat served with salads and very greasy fries. And as for the prices-sacre bleu! At stalls around the circuit there were sausages cooked on hot plates and the sausages were literally floating on a sea of fat. I have a photo of one of those stalls from 2004 but I cannot find the file which maybe just as well. After a weekend at Le Mans your chances of dying from heart disease must have more than doubled.
When I last went to the Le Mans 24 hour race I was really surprised at how much the food offerings at the circuit had improved. Filled baguettes, salads and even fruit were easy to find.
I remember in 1989 I went to a round of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship at Spa. I was there with a group of Jaguar dealers so it was a junket and we had a lavish lunch laid on in a suite above the pits. With a colleague, John Crawford, I managed to sneak away from the groaning tables of fine food to find a little stall serving Belgian frites. They serve them freshly fried and piping hot in a paper cone with mayonnaise and they are delicious. Mission accomplished. I took quite a few photos that day but sadly none of one of the most memorable parts of the race - les frites.
At the Bathurst 12 hours three weeks ago there was a choice of healthy food available in the paddock but for breakfast Warren and I went for a motor racing staple - a bacon and egg roll. Vintage motor racing food-and this time I did have a camera ready.